Hiring the right college football coach is hard, and no one ever really knows how things will turn out. That doesn’t stop us from making predictions.
It’s all in fun, after all. Everyone wants to know what’ll happen before it happens. Every fan wants to feel like their school made the right hire in a moment of uncertainty. The reality is that most coaching hires don’t work, and turnover is as high as ever. Already, five Power 5 coaches have been fired this season.
Last year, we published our first coaching carousel regrade, looking back at the 2016-17 cycle. Five years is a fair amount of time to judge a tenure. A coach will have a program fully made up of his players at that point (if he made it that long). Overall, that class of 21 changes found a good amount of success: Six earned a regrade in the A-range and 10 more were in the B-range. Only one earned an F.
But the next season was much different. There were again 21 changes in the 2017-18 cycle. Only six coaches are still in the same job, four moved to new jobs and 11 have been fired — including two already this season. This time, five got a flat F.
Let’s upgrade the 2017-18 cycle. (Note: ESPN’s grades came in December, before several hires. The Athletic’s college football coverage launched in 2017, but Stewart Mandel’s coaching grades began in 2018.)
Out: Rich RodriguezIn: Kevin Sumlin